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Had planned and mostly booked a Christmas trip to Prague and Russia when I got a call from my daughter – on exchange at Charles University in Prague – that she had broken her ankle. (This is very much a precis of what was actually a super dramatic and distressing phone call from her on the street in the middle of the night. I looked up ambulance number and she rang and I stayed on the line during the ambulance ride to hospital, the examination by doctors, and her being admitted. Most of that night stayed on the line, the phone open using Whatsapp. She had surgery the next day, and again, afterwards, once she was back in her room, we kept the line open, like some long-distance baby monitor. I tried to stay calm and worked on my book edits in Melbourne while listening to my twenty-one year old breathing and moving as she slept thousands of kilometres away in Prague.)

This all happened on the Fri night/early Sat morning of the weekend before last. By Wednesday morning I knew I had to come, so I booked a ticket and got on the plane that night. Arrived Thursday lunch time and went to hotel, dropped bags, then to the hospital. Discharge was more like a prison break it has to be said, and the hospital more Cuckoo’s Nest than The Alfred.

She is giving herself daily injections for DVT – OH BRAVE CHILD OF MINE – and I have managed a few walks in this beautiful city. We aren’t sure of the plan, seeing doctor tomorrow, but I suspect the choices will be limited or shaped by medical and insurance imperatives.

We have been pretty holed in up the hotel. But we have watched Stranger Things Season 2. I am about to finish The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie – so brilliant and I have lots of other books I brought with me as well. I watched the new (and only?) Joan Didion documentary made by her nephew Griffin Dunne (remember him from the ’80s?) – it’s on Netflix and FASCINATING.

I got my copy edits off to the publisher, thank goodness. They were kind enough to give me a little extra time. My business partner is amazing and she and other educators are covering my classes while I’m gone for two weeks. On my return I am doing a weekend workshop with Tim Ferguson on ‘writing comedy’ – my friend writer Sarah Drummond did the workshop with him, and said it was fab. So I feel excited to do that. And then there is the Word for Word Non-Fiction Festival in Geelong, also upcoming. I’ll be down there staying in Geelong for two nights, and have a bunch of tickets to a bunch of events. Looking forward to that very much.

But really, I don’t know about anyone else, but 2017 has been a year of extremes for me and mine. Talk about highs and lows. Here are some photos from Prague: